Nutrition in chronic kidney disease

When you suffer from chronic kidney disease (CKD), nutritional management is an essential part of your treatment plan. Depending on the severity of your disease, your recommended diet may change over time.

Especially, in a more advanced stage of your disease when your glomerular filtration rate (GFR) continues to decrease, the amount of protein together with calories and other nutrients (e.g. minerals and vitamins) in your diet have to be adjusted to meet your changing needs. Additionally it is important, that your nutrition contains enough calories (energy), because otherwise there is a risk to develop malnutrition, particularly in later stages of the disease.

Nutritional parameters: e.g. protein, energy, phosphate, calcium,
potassium, sodium, vitamins and fluid should be carefully monitored
if you suffer from chronic kidney disease.



Differences in the types of nutrition

There are major differences in the nutritional recommendations during the pre-dialysis phase versus the dialysis phase of chronic kidney disease. 

Want a little foretaste?

Assessment tools for the monitoring of nutritional status

You can do some basic measurements by yourself: body weight and body mass index (BMI). However, their validity concerning your nutritional status is limited, because they don’t give information about the composition of your body tissues. For example, if you suffer from fluid overload, your body weight and BMI will increase, but at the same time you can be malnourished and suffer from muscle degradation. Nevertheless, body weight and BMI are essential measurements to get an approximate hint about your nutritional status, and they can be measured easily. Particularly in dialysis, daily measurements of body weight are crucial to monitor the fluid load of your body.


Definition of BMI: weight divided by square of the height.


As nutrition plays such an important role in the management of chronic kidney disease, you can find some more detailed information about those nutrients, which you should have an eye on for your renal diet, depending on the stage of progression of CKD. You can always ask your physician or dietictian for more detailed information.

Learn about CKD, nutrition and therapy with the little videos below

Why is protein reduction in chronic kidney disease important?


What is the protein-calorie balance in CKD?


How to get started with reduced protein diet?


How to make a reduced protein diet work at home?

What are the benefits of a reduced protein diet?


How to make a reduced protein diet work when eating out?